Walking around Cape Town with Alex!

Sunday June 20th
My good friend Alex had fortune smile upon her as she was in Ethiopia for a week for work.  She was able to turn those lemons upside down, and was able to parlay a layover for the weekend in Cape Town on her way home!  She actually had come in the night before, and I had met her at Rafiki’s after the homemade pizza night at Jenny’s (where I had the banana on pizza, did I mention that?  Banana on pizza?  Amazing.  Yeah, I said it.).  She stayed with her friend Alex who goes to the University of Cape Town, and he was way cool.
We spent the day walking around town, as she was only going to be in town until the afternoon of the 21st.  We hit up Greens and had an amazing brunch.  Well, not before passing by the giant cinema…
I was able to watch Alex in her element as she negotiated some deals with the vendors in the Green Market… (She bought 2 vuvuzelas.  For friends, she said.  What a tourist.)  She also bought some earrings, and some tapestries, or whatever girlie stuff.  Had fun though.  The people there even recognized me cuz I had been there so often… Alex had a good laugh when one of the guys recognized me, but couldn’t place my name, and I remembered his name was Lawrence (when he introduced himself, he said “My name is Lawrence, like Martin”).  When I called him by his name, he remembered my name, and we all laughed.  And Rob finally bought the chess set he had his eye on, and was even hustled into buying a sweet carved wooden mask.  (The tactic used on him, would in later days, be used on me to sell me something, but I’ll tell you more about that when I get to it.)
We decided we wanted to catch the next game down at the V & A Waterfront, as we heard that was a nice area.  We walked down past the stadium via the fanwalk, and then somewhere along the way, we took a wrong turn, and even though we didn’t hit the official “Waterfront” we got to the front of the water and saw the ocean.  On the way, Alex and Rob even got in a game of pickup soccer with some kids (none over 10 years of age).  At this point, my friends would make some joke about me not playing due to a police order to stay at least 500 ft away from children.  Haha, but that is completely untrue.  That is only valid in the US.  Haha, again, just kidding, I wanted to get photgraphic evidence of them hustling some of the local kids in soccer.  The kids were impressed with Alex’s ball-handling skills (seriously, man, grow up).
Then we kicked it with a Dad and his son down by the ocean.  Alex’s first touch on the ball, sent the ball hurtling toward the ocean.  We all stood there in awe as the ball continued to bounce, roll, and intrepidly make it’s way to the ocean.  Luckily, a good samaritan saw it (and I don’t mean a samaritan as in an ethnoreligious group of the Levant, but as in a nice guy), and ran it down and stopped it just inches from it rolling over the edge, under the railing, to be lost in the waves crashing on the rocks below.
There were no bars at this part of the waterfront (we went too far south), so we made it back to Kloof st. and watched the game (and had a burger) at Hudson’s.
Later on, we hung out at Jenny’s, and headed back to catch the last game at Rifiki’s (Ivory Coast lost to Brazil… so sad).  We then headed out to the Waiting Room (which was too busy) so we went to the Neighborhood, and ended up playing fusbol on a crooked table… Alex and I got owned by Alex and his friend, and later on, his friend made the assumption that Alex and I were married.  We laughed and gave him a hard time, and that became a running joke for us… as I am now her South African husband.  Haha.

We Interrupt The Trip Rehashing For an Important Announcement…

I’m taking a break from updating my travel stories to post this photo that I took yesterday.  Marja and Jon asked me to take pictures of their little man, Oliver, who actually shares a birthday with me.  He’s one.  I’m twenty-eight.  And yes, we’re both known to drool on occasion.

Happy belated birthday, Oliver!

South Africa Trip: Day Six – The Way to Kalk Bay

Saturday June 19
Jenny rented a car and we (Rob, Jenny, Jenny’s friend-Danielle, and I) drove down to Kalk Bay.  The drive offered some really beautiful vistas (aka, some nice views, but said in a very hoity-toity way).  It took about 45 minutes or so to get to kalk bay.  It was nice to leave cape town for a bit and see a bit of what the country looked like outside of the city.
Kalk Bay is a nice seaside town; small and quaint, but even out here, world cup fever was abundant.  Bafana Bafana jerseys, south Africa flags displayed in windows, on store fronts, and around town.  We wandered a bit; Jenny bought a Obama Action Figure for Enoch, and I bought a couple of drawings from a nice little store…
And wandered into the Kalk Bay Railway House, which looked like it was converted into an estate auction of an elderly couple that passed away.
We ate at Cape to Cuba.  I was not impressed.
We also saw some seals.
And we saw other things.
Later on that night, we made pizzas for dinner.  I had banana on my pizza for the first time.  It definitely won’t be the last.
The end.

South Africa: Day Five – Royale with Cheese

Friday, June 18, 2010
Berto and Amanda left for their Commitmentmoon in Addo Elephant Park, so Rob and I struck out on our own to explore the other offerings of Cape Town.  We peeked into some stores so I could get a good idea of what some nice gifts would be to return to the states with for the fam.
They worried about my well-being over here (they told me not to get eaten by lions, but truth be told, the lions are the ones who should be worried about me eating them!).  We ended going to Royale for lunch.  The Brits that were in my hostel at the Aloha lodge told me about this place, so I thought we’d try it, and I was not disappointed.  The burgers were awesomely juicy, and savory, and I don’t know how else to describe food, but probably one of the best burgers I’ve ever had.  I had a burger with chopped bacon and peppadews (sweet, tangy, peppers with a slight hint of heat) mixed into the beef patty, with some sweet potato fries.  Awesome.  (although, this was basically day 5 of me having barely any veggies… don’t tell my parents though, they’d be pissed, and won’t let me go outside to play until I had some veggies.  They would always say that veggies would help keep you cool.  I still don’t believe that.)
We walked around for a bit longer (and saw the sign below… hover over it for the caption) and ended up back at Jenny’s place to watch the Slovania vs USA game.

The US team came back from a 0-2 deficit to tie up the game, but they were robbed of the win by the ref calling an unknown foul after a free kick (which went in).  It was a sad way to end the game, considering the USA would have lead  the group after that win, but with the England game on later that night, we’d see how the rest of the group stood.  Rob, Jenny and I had trouble deciding on what to eat, but I picked the Thai place across the street from the Viet restaurant (which also, strangely, serves sushi).
After dinner, we made it down to the Long Street Cafe to watch the England vs. Algeria game, which ended up being quite boring, due to the resulting 0-0 draw.  With smoke drying out my eyes (you forget what it’s like, but banning smoking in bars was the best idea ever), we called it a night…